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Canada PM Justin Trudeau to pardon man jailed for being gay in the 60s

Canada PM Justin Trudeau to pardon man jailed for being gay in the 60s

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intends to posthumously pardon a man who was jailed simply for being gay in the 1960s.

George Klippert was the last man in Canada to be convicted of homosexuality before it was legalized in 1969.

The mechanic from Kindersley, Saskatoon served a four-year sentence for 18 counts of ‘gross indecency’ in Calgary in 1965.

Klippert was then investigated in connection with an arson in 1965. Although he was not involved in the fire, he voluntarily admitted to police to having consensual gay sex with four adult men.

Klippert was deemed a ‘dangerous sex offender’ and was sentenced to preventive detention on the grounds he would likely reoffend – essentially, life imprisonment simply for being gay.

‘Klippert’s case was instrumental in the government’s decision to decriminalize homosexual acts between consenting adults,’ Trudeau’s office said in statement Sunday (28 February).

‘As Canadians, we know that protecting and promoting fundamental human rights must be an imperative for governments and individuals alike – and this includes gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation… but the fight to end discrimination is not over and a lot of hard work remains.

‘Canadians know our country is made stronger because of our diversity, not in spite of it.’

The statement also said the Liberal government would review hundreds of other convictions of ‘gross indecency’ and ‘buggery.’

Six weeks after the Supreme Court upheld Klippert’s sentence in , Justin Trudeau’s father Pierre Trudeau – the then justice minister introduced – a bill to decriminalize private, consensual gay sex between men over 21.

Klippert spent a total of years years in jail for being gay and died in 1996.